Okay, I have to get something off my chest.
I get it.
The new Battlestar Galactica is a good show. Fine. A great show. Okay. The best goddamned television you’ve ever seen. Great. It’s the television equivalent of Ulysses (okay, so no one’s made that claim).
You got the DVDs for Christmas. You don’t want to hear spoilers on the new show. You’re wondering who’s going to get shot in the next episode and who’s pulling the trigger. Great. Is Starbuck a Cylon? I don’t know, because I haven’t watched the show yet.
At my office, a show like Battlestar Galactica is almost required viewing, but somehow I just never started watching it. Recently it seems my entire social world, from my office to my online friends, have become obsessed with this show. The peer pressure to watch it is intense. I’ve been forced to Netflix the DVDs so I can participate in 80% of the conversations at work.
My girlfriend went to Caltech, and she told me how annoyed she got when her fellow students found out she hadn’t read Lord of the Rings (and didn’t really want to). In their shock and horror they would demand that she read them, which only made her less inclined to do so. When she told me about that, I didn’t really understand. Now I think I do.
Ordinarily I might have been all over a show like BG, though to be fair I, like many people, passed over the opening miniseries due to the reputation of the original show. Now I’m way behind and feeling rather ambivalent about catching up. I haven’t really been into science fiction in any degree since I was in elementary school; I’ve become more of a fantasy/horror guy. And I really want to get through Buffy and Angel, too.
But when it gets to the point where I have to put my headphones on when the talk at work turns to Battlestar Galactica, and when my friend Scott who finds fault with all creative media makes the redundantly hyperbolic statement that he “loves the hell out of the new show – a lot,” I must reluctantly bow my head and say that, this time, peer pressure has won.
I’ve got to be careful, though. I can already feel myself growing the sort of bizarre anti-populist ire I felt toward The Matrix–disliking it just because it was so popular, though the fact that it sucked and starred Keanu Reeves were important reasons too (there was an element of the emperor-has-no-clothes phenomenon in there). From everything I’ve heard and read, quality isn’t an issue with BG, but I still am not looking forward to hours and hours of catching up.
Part of it is the nature of the medium, though. I’ve never been that big on television. Watching television takes up a lot of time, time that could be used to write one’s novel or otherwise stimulate one’s brain cells. I’m sure the fans of BG would go into a lengthy argument about how watching this show is stimulating &c. &c.
I’m just saying, for me, watching this show is like committing to seventy dates with the same person before even meeting them.